Much is being said these days about populism: the championing of the common man in opposition to the established elite. Some view its growth around the world with alarm, while others see it as a necessary check on entrenched politics.
Populism per se is not the problem. The real threat comes from what gets wrapped up with populism, such as authoritarianism, blind confidence in one’s point of view, a weak commitment to the truth, and/or minimal reflection and engagement with other ideas.
Populism can completely overturn a government structure, or re-shape it at the margins. It can lead to more equitable policies, or more reckless ones. What matters is how we work with it.
I invite you to help shape populism. Join a growing movement of ordinary people who are committed to building bridges of understanding through Better Angels, a non-profit organization committed to depolarizing America. I have followed this non-profit’s growth since its humble beginnings in late-2016, and I’m impressed enough to donate some of my time to moderating their workshops for free. This is a populist movement I am happy to join.
You can also make a difference by participating in one of our Engaging with Difference® workshops to learn a set of higher-level communication and leadership skills that transform interactions into creative and effective collaborations. These skills are broadly applicable to daily interactions, not just political discussions.
Whatever you choose to do, I hope you will engage with diverse viewpoints and reflect on them in new ways. This is an essential element of a healthy democracy.
Copyright © 2019 Sharon V. Kristjanson. All rights reserved.